The death of the book is e-fiction

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The only problem that books have is their utterly ridiculous prices (The death of the book is e-fiction, January 30. It all comes down to production costs circulation costs, and profit margins in the end. But people seem almost scared to point the fingure at the real problem - price!
Ten dollars is quite enough for a printed novel and if you can't print and circulate any non fiction work of less than 600 pages for $30 you deserve to be in trouble
What is particularly concerning is that as a result of book prices fresh information and new ideas are not circulating. There needs to be a total rethink in the publishing area - maybe a return to the publishing ethos of the prewar era
For what we have lost is the vision of the Founder of Penguin Books, Sir Allen Lane, to make books available to the people at the lowest possible prices - including through the use of vending machines. The real slide in the book industry came when publishers started to waste money putting pretty pictures on paperback book covers. The concept that a paperback was a cheap alternative to hardbacks was slowly lost
Literacy has its price. The price is the availabilty of cheap editions of all books. Otherwise public literacy in the future will not get much beyond Harry Potter.
Bookshops - in common with any other business - are subject to appalling overheads, particularly rents. To pay modern rents a business requires a very high turnover. Maybe we need governments to recognise that the provision of premises for bookshops is a legitimate public service similar to libraries. It is worth a try to bring end prices down.
One must remember that actual Kindle sales figures are not released, I believe they will lose out eventually to the .epub format (The death of the book is e-fiction, January 30). Going it alone with a proprietary format seldom wins in the end- why lock yourself into only buying from Amazon?. As for publishers, I just can't see how they will continue to sit between the author and the retailer, grabbing a cut for doing so little. When they had to carry the risk of printing they were essential, but not now. Retailers will get far more clout, because they interact with the consumer, and can suggest similar authors, give previews, and launch new authors from their websites. Data mining and profiling, as is carried out by Google at the moment, will become essential, so as to target likely suggestions to each individual consumer.
The death of books is widely exaggerated indeed. E-books ignore one important factor - we humans like to amass and collect - there is something special about a book collection and the ability to leaf through old favourites time and again - somehow one struggles to see how one can display an 'e-book' collection on the Ipad in the living room (The death of the book is e-fiction, January 30)....
It's a myth that ebooks are replacing hard books - because, if you add ebook and physical book sales together for individual titles, the total is significantly lower that would have been expected for similar books a few years ago (The death of the book is e-fiction, January 30).
Whatever the reason for the decrease in physical book sales (and in Australia, lack of outlets and shelf space is a major one) the fact remains that fewer books are being read in any form. And this trend is international.
In my experience, the book has been on the skids for the last 20 years - even before computers - and it isn't going to turn around any time soon, even for someone like me selling serious recent non fiction for $8 to $10.
Do you really believe this.It reads like a marketing exercise to me (The death of the book is e-fiction, January 30).
So Allen in 20 or 30 years the E book will still be accessible or will you have to pay again.
As we have seen with Pc's the programs are changed then previous programs become obsolete.
I can still pick up a book that is a hundred years old and has probably been read by a lot of people and still read it.
Put it down and go back to it at a later time (like years later) will this be possible with the E book.
To me it will be like a C.D listen to it say on U Tube or artists webb site if you like it go and buy it.
Books will probably be the same
I've spent more on electronic books on Google play in the last 12 months that I have for the last 3-4 years with bookshops (The death of the book is e-fiction, January 30). I read them on my fairly large screen android phone in down times - perfectly satisfactory, in fact preferable to lugging round a book or another electronic device.
I have been an e-book fan for quite a few years now and the only hard-copy books I purchase these days are the type of books that are not suitable for the electronic format (The death of the book is e-fiction, January 30).
I find it very convenient that once downloaded onto my Kindle or computer, the books are also available on my tablet and smart-phone, all synced to the last page read.
And the beauty of the e-book is that there are thousands of classic literature books available free of charge.
A couple of observations (The death of the book is e-fiction, January 30):
- 'sales' (if calculating readership) of ebooks are hard to estimate. ebooks are easy to duplicate, if one is so inclined, 2,500 books rated 3+ stars at Amazon are easily found for nix on torrent sites. This is a bigger problem than people passing around a print copy.
- the written word in books (or print) will continue to be popular for one very germane reason. Video or audio runs at around 150 words per minute, fast readers can read at 500+ words per minute. Reading is just a far more time efficient way of acquiring information.
There is another issue regarding e-books that is very rarely mentioned (The death of the book is e-fiction, January 31). I found out only recently that you never "own" the e-book you only pay a "license fee" to be able to view it. At least with the printed version you get to keep it for as long as you wish to retain it. There was a case with Amazon recently where a person had quite a reasonable size e-book collection, but when they migrated to another country, they had their entire collection wiped (different IP address apparently) by Amazon (I believe it was reinstated after an official complaint). All is not what it seems unfortunately with e-books.